The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
Heart health is a topic I am frequently asked about. Customers specifically want to know how to reduce blood pressure, raise protective HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein), and lower LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein).
The good news is you don’t have to go far to find the solution! Just walk through the main entrance of any Heinen’s and there it is: the Produce Department, where every fruit, vegetable, leafy green, herb and spice, qualifies as heart healthy.
In addition to their abundance of natural plant pigments, dietary fiber also plays a star role in optimizing heart health.
What is Dietary Fiber?
Fiber is the carbohydrate portion of a plant that you can’t digest or absorb. We lack the enzymes required to break down fiber, so it travels through our digestive system unchanged, where it helps support digestive regularity, growth of beneficial bacteria, healthy cholesterol and balanced blood sugar.
To help you achieve the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber per day, here are the top fiber-rich foods in Heinen’s Produce, Frozen, Grocery, and Wellness Departments.
- 1 cup sliced avocado: 10 grams
- 1 cup sliced jicama: 6 grams
- 1 medium pear with skin: 6 grams
- ¼ cup raw almonds: 4 grams
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts: 3 grams
- 1 cup Heinen’s frozen raspberries: 9 grams
- ½ cup Seapoint Farms organic shelled edamame: 4 grams
- ½ cup Heinen’s cooked lentils: 11 grams
- ½ cup dry oats: 4 grams
- Equal Exchange 70% cacao dark chocolate: 3 grams per serving
- 1 Raw Rev bar: 12 grams
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed: 6 grams
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds: 5 grams
With a little creative meal planning, meeting your daily fiber recommendations is surprisingly easy! For example:
- Avocados and chia seeds make great additions to smoothies.
- Ground flaxseed, raspberries and almonds are perfect for yogurt parfaits.
- To naturally sweeten oatmeal, add diced pears instead of sugar.
- For a quick lunch on-the-go, enjoy a Raw Rev bar with a side of sliced jicama and edamame.
- Top your dinner salads with Brussels sprouts and lentils.
- Treat yourself to a couple squares of dark chocolate after dinner.
Need help with meal planning? Visit your local Heinen’s Wellness Department and introduce yourself to the Wellness Consultant. Better yet, schedule a free 45-minute In-Store Nutrition Consultation. This time is yours to take a step towards optimizing your health. Discuss your goals, ask questions and explore the store to see which foods are best for you.